The Writing Process – Why I love my Critique Partners

Why I Love My Critique Partners

Why I love my critique partners

 

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Why do I love them? My critique partners make me a better writer.

For those of the non-writers, critique partners are readers who will critique and evaluation your writing. I’ve only worked with other writers, creating a reciprocal relationship – I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. But as everyone knows, putting something you love out there for others to judge is really difficult.

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But totally worth it.

These days I work with 2 awesome women authors, Lisa and Nita. We do everything on-line; they live nowhere near me. I’ve never even met them!

But I know how they write.

We share chapters, give comments and encouragement. We tell each other what works and what needs to be changed. They know my characters almost as well as I do. We’re each others’ cheerleaders and support staff. It’s a good deal.

I’ve just finished revising the first five chapters in my new book, The Best Worst First Date. It’s a sequel of sorts to The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd – another chick-lit/spy thriller with Charlotte and her spy family as a part of it, but a new character, Tenley Scott as the protagonist. It’s fun to write and extremely helpful to have Nita and Lisa looking over the chapters as I go along. They pick up on things I miss – like how Tenley can sound too much like Charlotte and why would Tenley give up her name (and her daughter’s) to the bad guy. Things I might have picked up on, but maybe not until I was neck-deep in final edits and revisions.

Writing is very solitary and writers are notorious introverts. I can go weeks without discussing my latest WIP with anyone. Knowing Lisa and Nita are there for me to bounce ideas off as well rein me in when plots get too out of hand is very reassuring, not to mention comforting. Having them close enough to meet would be wonderful, but on-line works well too. I wanted to write this post to give a brief glimpse into the writing process but also as a shout-out to my partners. Both are wonderful writers and I will be throwing my full support to them when it comes time to promote their books. I’m so glad we found each other!!

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If you’re a writer, do you work with critique partners? What’s your experience?

7 thoughts on “The Writing Process – Why I love my Critique Partners

  1. Pingback: Critique Partners… | coffee2words

  2. A world without pizza?! NEVER!
    I also have two awesome ‘alpha readers’. Bob is a graphic artist and Penny is a trauma nurse. The three of us have one big thing in common: we love cycling.
    I chose Bob accidentally, by emailing him a draft of a short story/fanfic. He loved it and said “Keep writing.” So I did. I asked Penny, whom I’ve only met in person twice, , I reckoned that since she didn’t know me personally, she’d give me an honest ‘this is crap’ or ‘this is great’. I was right.

    As I searched around for books like mine – fictional story about the women’s pro peloton in Europe – I came across a book called Legend of Rosalind. Dan’s writing style was similar to mine so I emailed him. Four months later, he emailed me back. I cannot tell you how much I owe to his nitpicking but also goodly amount of praise.

    As I’m now knee deep in the continuation of the first novel, Bob and Penny are still with me but I haven’t asked Dan to read it yet.

    • That’s fantastic! I keep finding little things I have in common with Nita and Lisa every time we email, but as for big things – we all write. And contacting an author with a similar style is a great idea. Good luck!!

  3. And the same applies to you, Holly. I’m glad to be in this partnership because your critiques are also so helpful. It’s amazing what a writer sometimes miss as we get caught up in the thrall of getting the story down on paper! I’m thinking of some of the reactions you and Nita have had to some of my characters, which made me realize I was not getting them across very well in my writing! : )

  4. I want to reply, but can’t think of what to say that wouldn’t just be a complete repeat of what you said in this lovely post, so…just go re-read your post and you’ll know my thoughts exactly, lol! I like being part of our trio for lots of reasons. Friendship and the slow getting to know each other of course, but also because of what I’ve learned from both the giving and the receiving of critique. And the cheerleading aspect, too…I might have thrown in the towel without your encouragement a couple of times. Now I might just have to steal your idea and do my own blog post on the topic. 🙂

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